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Why I quit every MMO I ever Played

October 21, 2011

Dear Reader,

Since I frequently mention all the MMOs I played, I thought it might be interesting to compile a list of what went wrong with each of them.  Each one of these had some good qualities (with one exception – more on that later), but something went so inherently wrong that my friend(s)/wife and I decided to step away.  These appear in chronological order of playing.

Dungeons and Dragons Online

I really enjoyed DDO.  I’m steeped in D&D culture, having played since 2nd edition (about 10 -15 years), so it was a natural choice when WoW failed me the first time (guild stuff).  My buddy, a self-proclaimed penny-pincher (he uses a stereotypical cultural reference, of which he is one I might add, but I’ll refrain), bought four copies for us for a dollar each from some bargain bin, so we figured if he was willing to spend money, we should give it a shot.

The problem was the first raid.  We’d played WoW, where you get as many chances as you wish to fit in as long as you clear the trash and don’t run out of time before the weekly reset (this was back when they had those).  In DDO, the first raid forced you to clear five dungeons before you raided each lockout.  One of the dungeons, Vault of Night 2, was stupidly designed; it was a floating island, and if a single person was blown off, the entire party immediately failed.  There were gust traps everywhere, and people on bad connections had a really hard time getting the dungeon done.  Our group in-joke since then has been to refer to really hard encounters as “VoN 2 Heroic: no floor.”

After you battered your way through the dungeons, the fifth of which was also exceptionally long and hard, you got to the raid boss, an awesome red dragon.  You got one attempt at it.  One.  If you wiped, you waited until the lockout period was up and did all five pre-dungeons again.  We stopped less than a week after we learned that.

Age of Conan

My buddy and I played Age of Conan and LotRO at the same time to decide which we really wanted to invest in.  AoC was more compelling game play, being an actual action game that wasn’t like WoW, but it was also very twitchy and button-mashy.

We only played Age of Conan for the trial period, but we learned within that time that the game had some serious flaws.  All of the amazing stuff that’s shown off on the first island disappears when you move to the second island.  I don’t do “bait and switch.”

Lord of the Rings Online

I loved (and probably still love) LotrO.  We played in the time after the Moria patch until the next patch (I don’t remember what it was) got released.  We enjoyed the leveling, thought the graphics were beautiful, liked some of the creative character classes (I’ve never seen a mechanic like a Runekeeper), and enjoyed immersing ourselves in the Tolkien lore.

We pushed our way through Moria, which incidentally was too dark, and finally emerged on the far side with little time before the release of the next expansion.  We had a solid group of three, but could never get into dungeons because people felt that runekeepers (which I was) couldn’t heal properly.  Since dungeons required six, getting three dps in was unlikely, so often we couldn’t find groups.  We tried the three-man dungeons, which were an ingenious addition, but found them impossible; apparently the progression was to do 6 man dungeons, gear up, then do 12 man raids, gear up, THEN do three man dungeons.  Whoever decided that should have been immediately fired; it’s completely illogical to progress like that.

Additionally, the “talents” in LotRO require that you earn them. I think that’s an awesome idea, and I wish more games functioned that way.  However, the high-end versions of the talents became a little ludicrous; to get three more of a stat, which was no great increase, you’d have to kill an additional 900 or so monsters.  Still, some groups expected people to have all their virtues (talents) maxed out.  It seemed nonsensical.

We stuck around for the expansion, but it felt like more of the same.  Our relationship to the game had been damaged by the three man dungeons and worn thin by the grinding of the virtues, and when the xpac failed to wow us, we left.

Fallen Earth

Fallen Earth is to this day my favorite MMO.  I found it to be the most creative and engaging of the worlds, the most interesting and diverse of the story lines, and the most fun to actually play, where you had 1st person shooter aspects so smoothly melded with and MMORPG.  I spent countless hours farming, leveling, and crafting – and oh what a crafting system.  A huge percentage of the items in the game could be crafted, which was a great incentive to go looking for things.

Unfortunately, it tuckered me out.  The land was so large, there were so many quests, and there was no end game content to be working towards that I lost direction (as I do with games like Oblivion) and eventually just lost interest.  It was a lot of fun, but it got old too quickly.  On top of that, my wife refuses to play first person shooters, so it was impossible for me to play with her, which meant I was splitting my time between WoW and Fallen Earth.  Eventually FE lost.

Star Trek Online

STO I played alone; it was my private indulgence.  My wife was still playing WoW and my buddy wasn’t interested in trying a space MMO (until Star Wars, apparently), so I didn’t have much of a choice.  I was very excited about its release and still think it was a much better game than it got credit for being.  Since I (foolishly) bought a life-time subscription, I still keep it up-to-date and play a few missions every now and again.

In the end, though, it couldn’t compete with socialization.  As my buddy got re-interested in WoW and we all agreed to level together (remember that catastrophe?), there was simply no time.  It may not be fair to say I “quit” STO, but I certainly reduced my playing to nearly nothing.  It’s a fun game, but the space missions are too slow and the land-missions don’t make up enough of the game.

Rift

Rift was another really great game that simply lost out to WoW, though this time it was more due to my buddy than me.  He rushed through it on an “alt” (though if it’s played more than your “main” I’d argue what’s what), got to the end, and declared it was like Fallen Earth: not enough to do.  Since he’d seen the whole game, he hurried me through missions, frequently boiling them down to their lowest common denominator, ruining the exploratory and discovery aspect as it became simply about getting XP as fast as possible.

His rushing and spoiling irritated me, and his report on the end game demoralized me.  I’ve wanted to go back and always kick myself when I find out there was a free weekend (usually on Sunday right before I go to bed) that I didn’t play.  In the end, though, it, too lost out to WoW as we finished leveling our toons and didn’t see a reason to continue leveling in Rift.

Forsaken Worlds

This game has an asterisk for why I quit, because I never really started.  I signed up for an account, but never got a confirmation email.  I went and tried to get a confirmation email, but it said I was not signed up, so I went to sign up again and was told that my email was already in use.  The hell with that.  Developers, if you want people to play your game, make sure they can sign up, first.

Allods

Allods was fun for about 13 levels.  You didn’t have to buy anything, there were always XP specials going on, and the quests were all city-based, so they were mostly close by and accessible.  Then, like AOC, things went downhill.  Every quest made you kill 50 mobs, and every level required more and more quests.  The only way to make it manageable was to purchase scrolls that doubled your xp gain, but that required real money (ah, the catch!).  My buddy and I weren’t all that attached, so off we went.

Vindictus

Vindictus was a lot of fun; it had better production quality than some games that cost money, and it was free to play.  However, it was incredibly repetitive.  In the end, you needed to do every board 3 or 4 times, and every board was a small difference from the previous boards, so in the end it was more like a Diablo game than an MMO.  It got boring quickly and was replaced.

Glitch

I’m still playing Glitch and really enjoying it, but I see an end coming, far off.  What happens when I’ve gotten every skill and, thus, every quest?  What then?  I’ll let you know when I get there, dear reader – maybe there’s a surprise in store.

At any rate, here lies a list for developers about what turns players off: repetition, not enough end-game content, bait-and-switch design, difficulty getting started, lack of socialization, too slow fights, expansions that don’t seem to have any new stuff in them, illogical progression, and content that’s too unforgiving.  WoW’s guilty of a lot of these, but I still play it.  I wonder why it continues to win out?

Sincerely,

Stubborn (self-proclaimed MMO whore)

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2011 10:33 am

    An interesting idea for a post. It might be difficult for me, as there a lot of MMOs I have left, come back to, left again, and so on in a cycle. I think my relationship with EverQuest II, why I left, why I came back, why I left again, would make for a long post in and of itself.

    Actually, now that I think of it, I did do such a post about our group’s comings and goings with LOTRO. That made for a many paragraph post.

    • October 21, 2011 12:11 pm

      I thought about including WoW in this post for that reason; I’ve quit WoW over and over and come back to it (though I never said “I’m done for good!” or anything I’d regret like that). Perhaps I’ll do that another day, though to be honest probably all those trials and tribulations are documented here in other posts.

  2. October 21, 2011 10:43 am

    I still love DDO, although I admit that I’ve not been max level since it got extended past 12 😛
    We had a lovely 6 man group and only instanced though. DDO still has the best character customisation imo.

    I really liked Rift a lot. Again, mostly because of the character customisation choices available. I think I stopped playing in the end because I had too many other options game-wise, and the fact that being an *alt* person, there were only 3 levelling paths available – the same quests over and over, pvp (which I loved in Rift), or purely rift closing/events. I miss my bladedancer actually 😦

    I tried the F2P AoC recently, and was amazed by how dated it looks now. I agree that when I first played levels 1-20 were great then it went totally downhill.

    I only went back to WoW because of the people, really. Being back has been fun though. I think people keep going back to WoW because of people, because the community is so much more in your face than for any other game I’ve played, and because there is so much to do.

    I’m still bimbling around in Lotro though.. and I think if push came to shove I’d say I prefer it to WoW.

    • October 21, 2011 12:10 pm

      I don’t know how different xpacs were received, but I felt like I really enjoyed the early game over Moria and the later game. I’m not sure if those Xpacs have a Cataclysm-type reputation, but they turned me off in the same way Cata has weakened my interest in WoW.

      I really liked everything else about the game, though. The instances were tough as old-school WoW instances, their were some new mechanics (like some of the burglar tricks); I liked the bard class, as well, just for its flavor. I liked the “hp” system of morale, which certainly explained why we could “rez” over and over. I have no doubt if I’d played it before WoW, I’d have preferred it (same is probably true with DDO and definitely true with Rift), but WoW was like an amazing first anything – it ruins the rest to some degree.

  3. Joe permalink
    October 21, 2011 10:57 am

    Why no eq2? fantastic game with the best crafting system in any mmo plus now it free

    • October 21, 2011 12:07 pm

      I’m not sure, to tell the truth, but I think I didn’t get into MMOs until after EQ2 was in decline. How’d the crafting system work? I really liked Fallen Earth’s system, which allowed time you were parked at a workbench – even offline – to count towards your crafting, and Glitch has an excellent interface where if you need items that you can make, you can click from one crafting item over to its components and make them, then go right back to the item. Very natural feel.

    • October 21, 2011 12:31 pm

      Í forgot EQ2 – yes the crafting in that was brilliant. It was very erm.. you felt like you were actually crafting.. you had to interact with it.. like if you were cooking it’d say *now stir it*, *add some extra salt* etc.. and sometimes it ballsed up… until you got better at it.
      The other awesome thing about EQ2 was that the questing was.. well real questing.. You could spend hours looking for something 😛 None of this *walk from exclamation mark to question mark* rubbish 😛
      I did try F2P EQ2 but wasn’t as impressed.
      But yay cat-people and fairies (later) as player races 🙂

  4. October 21, 2011 11:01 am

    I’ve never played another MMO seriously. I did the beta for Warhammer and was completely underwhelmed (the only reason I did the beta was one of my closest friends was working on it). I installed the trial for Rift and loved it but ended up only playing a couple hours because the husband couldn’t play since it locked out one of his keys (he plays on a dvorak keyboard). So WoW it is.

    • October 21, 2011 12:05 pm

      Man! I forgot that I’d tried Warhammer Online. I didn’t get past level 10, though, as I learned a lot of the quests seemed tied to PvP objectives, and I wasn’t interested in that type of game.

  5. October 24, 2011 1:40 pm

    Fallen Earth is F2P now – can’t you hear the sweet siren’s call of the Wasteland beckoning you home?

    In all seriousness, my favorite MMO, as well, but the inventory management and crafting micro-management does wear me out from time to time. Now I won’t have to worry about unsubbing – rather I can sub back up when I get the urge to play in longer spurts.

    • October 24, 2011 3:18 pm

      I had heard that news, but I have little enough free time now to play, so I’ve not gone back to it yet. I also saw a lot of its expansions and patches were PvP focused, which is not something I was interested in. Who knows, though; if D3 and Star Wars and The Secret World go poorly, I may end up back there, yet.

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